* Group photograph of the guest and Course Participant,during the Opening Ceremony of 2022 League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) Training Course at NCAT Zaria Kaduna.
The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu has disclosed that the preparations for international civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) scheduled for the first quarter of 2022 are in top gear.
This is just as the regulatory body said that NCAA is fully prepared for the impending audits
The NCAA boss spoke at the annual League od Airports and Aviation Correspondents(LAAC) training programme at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology(NCAT), Zaria, Kaduna State.
The NCAA boss, who was represented by the Assistant General Manger, Air Transport, NCAA, Mr. Lulu Vongtau said that the media, particularly LAAC has provided platform which has helped in projecting activities and laudable achievements of NCAA to the public vis-à-vis its oversight functions.
He added that LAAC’s day-to-day reportage has shown that most aviation journalists have a deep knowledge of aviation and its goings-on, adding that on the heels of pro-activeness, existing regime of robust regulations and over eight years of zero accident in commercial flight operation, we are primed to excel again.
The NCAA DG’s representative appealed stakeholders including the media to join hands with us to ensure a successful audit next year.
According to him, “From now on, all your reports are very sensitive. Let us eschew sensationalism capable of putting the nation in bad light. Therefore, I will advise anyone to endeavour to verify and confirm his/her stories before publishing, if in doubt. It is my view that your watchdog role plays a very important part in fostering stability in the industry.”
He continued, “These balancing, developmental and promotional stories are the hallmark of a burgeoning aviation industry like ours. Let us present our aviation industry as the most improved that it is. There is no doubt that there is increased confidence in the sector as new airlines are coming in and existing operators are expanding their routes.”
Expectedly, he said that NCAA coast of surveillance programme and other oversight responsibilities as the regulator of the industry have increased correspondingly.
He commended the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika for getting for throwing their weights behind strengthening NCAA oversight responsibilities. The National Assembly committees on aviation are not left out in this regard.
Earlier, the Chairman of LAAC, Olusegun Koiki said that the global aviation industry in 2021 restarted with fresh hopes after the devastating effect of the pandemic, which according to him grounded to a halt the world’s economies, but as the world gradually began to show re-bounce, the pandemic came with various variants with the latest being Omicron.
The outbreak of Omicron, he pointed out once again led to global panic and discriminatory border closures, visa regimes and COVID -19 protocols, which unsettled growth the world over, thereby, negatively affecting air travel and thanks to medical research as airports have been opening up in phases, albeit gradually.
Surprisingly, he said Nigeria’s aviation industry has since the beginning of 2021 commenced a reawakening with speed, as more local airlines have received Air Operators’ Certificates (AOCs) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and over 10 AOCs are still being processed according to Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of NCAA.
The vision of investment in airports in the form of concessions, opined is being piloted by the Federal Ministry of Aviation and that passenger traffic is picking up,while the critical place of training in the sector has increased and by implication, created more opportunities for NCAT to harvest the ripe field of training adventures.
According to him, “There is no doubt that the volume of knowledge gathered from the training under this programme has significantly helped us as aviation media practitioners and journalists to disseminate aviation information more professionally and accurately amidst technological advancements in application of safety, security, economics and regulation of the sector. I am confident that this year’s training will further empower us to play our role as the fourth estate of the realm and in advancing the course of the industry.”
He applauded NCAT for the visible drastic improvements that have been recorded between when LAAC came for training in February 2020 and now but that unfortunately, LAAC couldn’t embark on the course in 2021 due to the continuous effect of the pandemic in the sector.
He, however, said that LAAC observed that the introduction of NCAT off-campus programmes has, as expected, provided the opportunity for more people to have access to aviation careers and certifications, adding that t his is a positive phenomenon, considering the industry’s manpower challenges.
The year 2022, he said is still relatively young and it provides another opportunity for Nigeria as a nation to make progress as regards aviation development.
The Chairman appealed to the various stakeholders and aviation authorities in Nigeria to show more commitment towards overall development of the sector.
“You will agree with me that the partnership between LAAC and NCAT cannot but grow higher and higher. I wish to reassure you that LAAC will continue to support NCAT in pursuing its goals and objectives and ensuring that NCAT furthers its performance in the global aviation training market,” he said.
He appealed to instructors, residents of NCAT and the entire Zaria community to accord us the usual hospitality that we have enjoyed over the years during the programme.